- 67 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 5, 1945
- Date of passing: Jul 13, 2012
|Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks. I don't care if I ever get back for it's root root root for the home team. If they don't win its a shame. For its one, two, three strikes their out in the ol|
Ping pong. Dad loved to play and put a paddle in my hand as soon as my eyes could see over the table. We would often just volley and talk but when we played for points he would always win – by one point. Until a week before I left for college when I finally beat him. The pride and accomplishment I felt that day was the best graduation gift a Dad could give.
So many memories. So many moments I want to hold onto and not let go. He meant so much to me and to others. To me, to my partner and brothers he was “Dad.” To friends and family, he was just “Bob.” To his grandchildren – to my son Gabriel – he was “Grandpa.” We are all still grieving. Still missing his voice, his laughter, his presence. Yet through our grief, as this year has passed, we feel more and more that he is still here with us. His love is here. The values he passed on to us are written in large letters on our kitchen wall, right next to the beautiful clock he lovingly crafted for me in his woodshop: Work Hard, Be Kind and Play Lots.
Work Hard: Dad was proudest of us when he saw us giving our best to a project. He always rooted for the underdogs – the teams and individuals that through sweat and perseverance exceeded expectations. He respected and admired those who worked hard and played fair, regardless of who took home the “win.” To Dad, working hard included staying on top of your responsibilities, thinking things through, taking care of your tools, and not taking short cuts. “Measure twice and cut once.”
Dad found such great joy in helping others. The smile on his face was a much of a lift as the actual help itself. Being kind included being fair to others. It also meant paying attention. Regardless of how much work he put into a project, he would always give the most credit to others who worked with him. Taking a walk on the river path with Dad would mean many stops along the way to notice the small things – like the “turtle hotels” on the logs.
Goodness Dad liked to play! Golf, baseball, frisbee, tennis, ping-pong – even basketball (and that’s saying something considering how short he was.) But what he lacked in height he made up in spunk! He passed this passion on to his grandson Gabriel - buying his first bat at age 2 and taking him to the golf course at age 3. Play doesn’t stop at sports. Some of our best conversations occurred around the cribbage board. It wasn’t just the play that he enjoyed – it was the people.
To his friends everywhere (sat. market, the pool, the deli, the golf course, his work, neighbors, and anyone else I missed) – you made his life so very happy and meaningful. Dad – Grandpa – Bob. He lives on in us everyday; When we are kind to others and go the extra mile to help someone, when we put down the cell phone and stop to watch a bird hop from branch to branch, when we walk along the river looking for “turtle hotels,” when we take care of our tools, when we enjoy a cool cucumber-tomato salad fresh from our garden, and when we root for the underdog, he is with us. When I win a game of ping pong with my son by just – one – point, he is with us. We miss you, dad, but we are grateful that your spirit lives on in all of us in so many ways.
Two years....wow. We are making it here. Missin you. Wrote about you on F.B. Yep you're on F.B. Gabe did 1st Tee Golf team this year. I'm sure you saw. Karrie is a wonderful mom, daughter and teacher. she works much too hard, like you. Matt is quiet but I know he thinks about you and us. Mike calls every week without fail. Good kids. Madeline is going to be in 1st grade this year and she is just a real cutie. Ben and Cameron are growing fast. Cameron becomes a teenager this year. Imagine that! Gabe is with me weekly and he is you in many ways. Dance is going great and he loves being on stage. Me, well I am still figuring out things but I am really healthy and happy. My best times with you are when I am grooming on my horse, so she is really shiny! Still do our mocha dates at the bench every few months. High five to you up there. Chat soon, forever and a day. (I still have all the letters) :)"
"Today is Dad's birthday - also known as Grandpa day. I watched videos with Gabriel and we talked on and off about grandpa all day. This evening curled up in his loft bed he asked if he could smell grandpa coat. I pulled it out of the closet and gave it it him. He wrapped it around him and said "hi Grandpa." At some point he said "You can *really* smell him right here! (by the collar)" Bittersweet. I couldn't smell anything anymore (my nose just isn't that strong - ironically, a trait I inherited from my Dad.) Pictures and videos will have to do. I miss you, Dad."
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